May 9, 2012 / 2:17 PM / in 5 years

Telus profit rises wireless, TV growth

TORONTO (Reuters) - Telus Corp (T.TO) posted a 6 percent rise in first-quarter profit on Wednesday after notching growth from its Optik TV service and signing up a solid number of valuable wireless customers using smartphones.

Canada's third-largest wireless company, which also offers landline phone, Internet and television services, said net profit rose to C$348 million ($347.6 million), or C$1.07 a share, in the three months ended March 31 from C$328 million, or C$1.01, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose 4 percent to C$2.6 billion.

Telus added 63,000 net postpaid subscribers, who sign multi-year contracts to use the latest devices and typically pay four times more a month than pre-paid users.

Telus said its cost of retaining wireless customers rose 4 percent while the average monthly bill it collects rose 1.7 percent as the company signed up more customers to high-end phones such as the iPhone.

Telus and other carriers spend heavily to subsidize sales of Apple Inc's iPhone and other high-end devices.

Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO), Canada's largest wireless provider, said last month it added 47,000 postpaid customers in the quarter, while the country's largest telecom company BCE Inc (BCE.TO) added more than 62,000.

Telus added 44,000 television customers as it aggressively built and promoted its Internet-based Optik TV service, which is making inroads against its cable rival Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO).

It doubled an earlier estimate of restructuring costs for 2012 to C$50 million, but that landline profit targets were still achievable. It also confirmed other full year targets.

Telus is withdrawing its proposal to convert its non-voting shares to common shares, following a run-in with dissident shareholder Mason Capital, the company said earlier on Wednesday.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore

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